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Cycling: Day powers up Semer incline to win East District Hill Climb Championship

PUBLISHED: 14:22 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 17 October 2019

Matt Day (Orwell Velo) rides to overall victory in the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Matt Day (Orwell Velo) rides to overall victory in the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Orwell Velo member Matt Day took the East District Hill Climb Championship with a 46 second ascent of the short, sharp Semer Hill near Hadleigh, writes Fergus Muir.

Kirstin Hamilton (Plomesgate CC) on the way to the women’s win at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHYKirstin Hamilton (Plomesgate CC) on the way to the women’s win at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Day, from Claydon, was just over half a second quicker than second-placed Stephen Clark, who is also from the Orwell club.

These two rode contrasting bikes with Day on a conventional geared road machine - and changing gear twice during his brief charge up the hill. Clark however, had built up a fixie especially for the event, shaved down to absolute minimum weight and of course with just a single gear. The final times were Day 46.3 seconds, Clark 46.9 with Lee Ford third in 49.0 ensuring the promoting CC Sudbury had a podium spot.

Top woman was Kirstin Hamilton (Plomesgate CC, 59.6), stepping up from third last year, and beating 2018 Champion Becky Ridge (TPH Racing, 1:00.7).

The road was damp under the trees that line the lower part of the hill and several competitors, including Day, had to control wheel-spin as they put the power down.

Oscar Keep of the promoting CC Sudbury was top Under 14 Boy at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHYOscar Keep of the promoting CC Sudbury was top Under 14 Boy at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

It was dryer towards the top where club riders were out in force cheering competitors on. Graham Dilks, a veteran but riding his first open hill climb, described being: "Hit by a wall of sound of cheers and cow bells from the large crowd of spectators and riders on the top half of the course".

Graham Collins (Mannintree Wheelers) and Neil Hughes (Velo Schils) were the next fastest Senior climbers. Top Junior was Arthur Hitchen (Ipswich BC, 49.6) while Adam Chamberlin (TPH Racing, 49.9) was best Veteran and Oscar Keep (CC Sudbury,1:06.6) and Mollie Bilner (SDCC, 1:07.5) the top Under 14s.

The Silly Suffolk Audax Rides offered a choice of three distances; 100 kilometres, 100 miles or 200 kilometres all based at Lowestoft. Even the latter distance wasn't far enough for CC Breckland member Jonathan Greenaway.

He used Audax UK's "Extended Oscar Keep Calendar Event" system to make his recorded ride 300 kilometres, riding to and from the start from his home near Swaffham.

Mollie Bilner (Stowmarket & District) was the top under 14 girl at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHYMollie Bilner (Stowmarket & District) was the top under 14 girl at the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

At the more modest end of the scale the 100 km route took riders west from Lowestoft to the main control at The Good, the Bad and the Hungry cafe at the equestrian centre in Wingfield.

On the way back two Audax Club Mid-Essex members managed to pop into the St Peter's Brewery Shop... and found the strength to carry the loot back to the finish. The 200 km route had the "corners" at Thornham Magna and Bawsey, and took in some pretty tiny lanes in between.

If that sounds like a lot of fiddly navigation, remember that most Audax riders download a GPX file which the organisers usually offer, and follow computer instructions. Or follow someone else's wheel - as companionable riding is all part of the deal

The Finsbury Park CC Road Race near Saffron Walden was the last opportunity to change the Eastern Road Race League Rankings

Alex Cutmore (TPH Racing) is encouraged by teammate Becky Ridge, 2018 Women�s winner, on the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHYAlex Cutmore (TPH Racing) is encouraged by teammate Becky Ridge, 2018 Women�s winner, on the CC Sudbury Hill Climb. Picture: JAMES LUCAS/JELIGNITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Strada Sport's Seb Herrod, lying three points off the top perch, put in a last-minute entry and an early bid in the race, but in the end finished outside the points.

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The wet and windy race was won by Rob Walker (Cambridge University CC), from David Veitch (Lea Valley CC), the pair having made a last lap break.

However the Strada Sport team score was boosted by Oli Wood who was eighth and 12th-placed Jake Towler who is from West Row near Mildenhall.

As a result Andy Taylor of DAP CC tops the final individual ERRL while Strada Sport are the top-ranked club.

Taylor finishes three points ahead of Herrod and Morris Bacon (DAP). joint second. Highest-ranked Ipswich rider is Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power) who is fourth.

East Anglian teams dominate the club rankings - in great contrast to ten years ago when East London clubs took the top slots.

Strada Sport were top, followed by DAP CC, Pedal Power, Ipswich and Velo Schils.

RESULTS

CC SUDBURY & EAST DISTRICT CA HILL CLIMB, Moulton:

OVERALL: 1 Matt Day (Orwell Velo) 46.3, 2 Stephen Clark (Orwell Velo) 46.9, 3 Lee Ford (CC Sudbury) 49.0. 4 Graham Collins (Manningtree Wheelers) 49.3, 5 Neil Hughes (Velo Schils) 49.5, 6 Arthur Hitchen (Ipswich BC, 1st Junior) 49.6, 7 Adam Chamberlin (TPH Racing, 1st Veteran) 49.9 , 8 James Potter (Ipswich BC) 50.6, 9 Ryan Gooderham (TPH Racing) 50.6, 10 Charlie Johnson (Stowmarket & District CC) 50.6, 11 Lewis Symes (Manningtree Wheelers) 50.9, 12 Paul Moss (Stowmarket & District CC) 52.0. U14: 1 Oscar Keep (CC Sudbury) 1.06.6,

WOMEN: 1 Kirstin Hamilton (Plomesgate CC) 59.6, 2 Becky Ridge (TPH Racing) 1:00.7, 3 Becky Hair (Histon & Impington BC) 1.00.8, 4 Mollie Bilner (Stowmarket & Dist, 1st U14) 1.07.5, 5 Shan Bendall (Tri Sudbury) 1.13.8, 6 Zoe Swainston (Colchester Rovers) 1.14.5.

EASTERN ROAD RACE LEAGUE 2019

Final Individual Rankings: 1 Andrew Taylor DAP CC 162, 2 Morris Bacon (DAP CC) & Seb Herrod (Strada-Sport) both 159, 4 Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich) 89, 5 Liam Fenner (API-Metrow) 79, 6 Mark Richards (DAP CC) 76, Ben Beynon (Strada-Sport) 70, 8, Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC) 63, 9 Seán Purser (St Ives CC) 61, 10 Craig Nicholl (API-Metrow).

Final Club Rankings: 1 Strada-Sport 309 points, 2 DAP CC 288, 3 Pedal Power Cycles 136, 4, Velo Schils - Interbike RT 121, 5= API-Metrow & Iceni Velo both 109, 7 Cycle Team OnForm 100, 8 East London Vélo 98, 9 Orwell Velo 91, 10= Cambridge CC & Islington Cycling Club both 78.

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